Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 82


"

ers swipe through the promotions and
have the option of adding onto their order. It's another way Empire Petroleum
helps dealers upsell during each visit.
Operators that switch to the Fast Fuels branding to take advantage of those
programs often see immediate results.
Fast Fuel stores, on average, see candy/
snack sales increase 22 fold and three
times the sales for dairy and edible groceries, according to Empire Petroleum's
numbers. Locations that undergo remodeling have seen even more drastic results, with 391-times the sales of
fountain drinks and 15-fold increases
in muffins and donuts.
Empire Petroleum uses multiple avenues to inform dealers about its food
and retail incentive programs. Field
consultants are frequently update operators on their options, but the company also touts the programs at monthly
dealer meetings held in various regions.
Those meetings provide an opportunity
for dealers to have direct access to Empire Petroleum's upper management
and meet with vendors.
It is through such programs that
Empire Petroleum shows it puts dealers first. The company's 23 field consultants - who average more than 20 years
of experience in the industry - are the
ones who work with gas station operators on a daily basis. "Field consultants
do an excellent job helping the dealer
understand his business and providing
him with consultative services to help
him improve the profitability of his
business," Heithaus says.

Growing Footprint
Since the merger of Empire Petroleum
and Quikway in 2011, the company
has continued to grow primarily by acquiring smaller distribution contracts.
This year alone, the company bought
out the wholesale distribution rights of
Keeman Petroleum Co. Inc., a Georgia-based distributor that supplied gas
to stations in southern Georgia and
Florida; and Triple a Fuels Inc., which
82

RETAIL-MERCHANDISER.COM

EMPIRE_PETROLEUM.indd 82

Field
consultants
do an excellent
job helping
the dealer
understand
his business.

"

served the Dallas-Fort Worth market.
The company made two more major
acquisitions this fall: Arkansas Valley
and Sunshine Fuel. Arkansas Valley, a
petroleum distributor with an annual
volume of more than 80 million gallons,
has 120 sites in Oklahoma, Nebraska,
Iowa, Arkansas, Missouri and Minnesota. The Sunshine Fuel purchase
included distribution contracts for 22
customers and two subleased sites in
Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri with
a total expected annual volume of more
than 1.5 million gallons of gasoline.
The gas station fueling business is a
slow growth industry, Heithaus says,
necessitating the buyouts. "If you want
to grow you grow through acquisitions,"
he adds. In some cases, the smaller distributor wants to exit the market or has
no succession plan in place. By buying
those contracts, Empire Petroleum
keep those gas stations supplied while
expanding its market presence.
The aggressive purchase of distribution contracts has enabled Empire
Petroleum to grow by about 50 percent
annually. The company adds about 300
independent gas stations to its customer base each year. "We want to continue
to provide regional solutions for markets," Heithaus says. "Although we may
have a more national landscape as a distributor, we want to help them respond
to local competition better." O

November/December 2016

11/4/16 9:58 AM


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 2
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 5
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 6
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 7
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 8
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 9
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 10
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 11
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 13
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 15
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 18
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 20
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 21
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 24
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 25
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 26
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 28
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 29
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 30
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 31
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 35
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 36
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 37
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 38
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 41
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover3
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover4
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